Once the Lum Avenue Field (Lum Field) was selected as the first project for the three-way partnership between the Chatham Athletic Foundation, Chatham Borough, and Chatham Township, a commitment was made that the next project would be located in the Township. With Lum Field now restored and ready for play, attention was now focused on the Township.
Which Township project should be addressed first? As with Lum Avenue Field, CAF made clear its preference that the project serve as many programs as possible, have a positive impact for the children of both towns and be able to reduce the stress on other fields in town. With that charge all Township fields were considered. The Township Committee suggested that the focus for a three-way restoration project occur at the Shunpike Field complex on Shunpike Avenue.
An initial thought was to expand the complex east of the existing footprint. Due to wetlands and other issues, that idea was quickly dismissed. The Township Committee next turned to the existing Shunpike complex footprint. Taking into consideration a stream running through the adjacent woods, the Township Committee redesigned the space and submitted a pre-application to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
That application was returned with several comments and requirements that needed to be addressed prior to submitting a final application. All issues were addressed and the final application was submitted back to NJDEP at the beginning of 2009. In early April the NJDEP returned a note that the application was “administratively complete.” The optimistic expectation is that the application will be granted by May, construction will occur during the summer, and the project will be complete by the 2009 fall season.
Please check back to this site, as we will provide updates as they arrive.